There is probably as many paellas as there are towns in Spain. The original Paella Valencia includes rabbit and cockles. Over time, all kinds of vegetables, meats, seafood, and fish have been cooked in the same method as the original. The constant among them all is the use of a wide flat pan with handles, superior quality broth, and special short grain rice from Valencia on the east coast of Spain. This vegetarian version is a great alternative to traditional paellas which include meat and seafood.
Paella de Verduras- Spanish Vegetable Rice
- 15-inch Paella pan or large skillet
- Medium saucepan
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small Onion, chopped
- 12 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 medium Zucchini, halved vertically then cut into ½-inch slices
- 16 small Portobello or Cremini mushrooms, stems removed, quartered
- 4 large Fresh red pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup Peas or lima beans
- 2 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 can Diced tomato, drained
- 6 cup Vegetable stock
- ½ tsp Saffron threads (optional but well worth it)
- 2 cup Bomba small round rice (Sub: Arborio rice)
- 2 sprig Fresh rosemary (Sub: tsp dried)
- Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp Parsely, chopped (garnish)
- 1 large Lemon, cut into wedges (garnish)
- Cook Base – Add olive oil to the paella pan or skillet. Heat over medium heat. When oil gets hot, add in onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and zucchini and sauté another 3 minutes. Stir in paprika and quickly add tomato, peas, rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté another 3-4 minutes to thicken the tomato up a bit,
- Cook Rice – Add rice to vegetables, stir to coat and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and add broth and saffron. Stir to combine once but don't mix again. Boil until most of the broth has been absorbed by the rice, 9-10 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, undisturbed, about another 5 minutes until all the broth has been absorbed.
- Finish Paella – Turn heat to medium-high and cook an additional 2 minutes to (hopefully) achieve a socarrat- the fought over bottom layer of crunchy caramelized rice. Remove from heat and leave untouched for 10 minutes, covered by a dishcloth or tin foil. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve in the paella pan with a big spoon.
- Leftover paella can be refrigerated for days and reheated in a microwave oven.